What I find really sad about Nintendo’s 1st party games is that they seem to lack the prestige they did back in the NES/SNES days (probably because I’m old now). Back then, for example, the SNES came packed with THE best launch game a console could probably have, and other 1st party games were must haves (Super Metroid, etc.). And no, Wii Sports was NOT a AA launch title, it was a really damn impressive tech demo.
Ahh, the hardcore. Nothing stops the hardcore, not even their contradictions! The best selling video game was not a AAA launch title? Really? Wii Play was the tech demo, not Wii Sports.
The problem with Hardcore Thinking (an oxymoron if there ever was one) is that they think they know much about the history of gaming because they played games as a child. Some of us weren’t children back in these times. If you were a child, the only games you thought were interesting on the NES and Gameboy were the fantasy type games such as Mario, Zelda, and Metroid. But there was a huge older adult population on the NES who were sucked into the NES sports titles and various other games that were WAY above children’s heads. These games were many of the computer game ports such as the Ultima RPGs, strategy games, and even some of the classic-type adventure games. Kids might have played Shadowgate, but did they play Deja Vu? With the SNES, Nintendo concentrated on the kid and teenage audience losing the older adults. Sega focused on the teenage audience and never got the older adults. Gameboy eventually became Pokemon Land which changed the reputation of the Gameboy from being ‘for everyone’ to being ‘only something kids play’.
Wii Sports was for the mature adult and designed to be a family game. Do you walk in a book store and expect EVERY book to cater to your tastes? Do you walk into a music store and expect EVERY album to cater to your tastes? Then why should video games be different? Why should EVERY video game cater to your tastes?
It is interesting that the hardcore realize that Nintendo games were much grander in quality in the past, yet they cannot bring themselves to say that Nintendo games today are often not high in quality (even though they keep saying they are). And when it comes to a game like Wii Sports, which third parties couldn’t even remotely MATCH the quality of that launch title, can’t bring themselves to say that Wii Sports was a high quality video game. “How dare you even suggest that, Malstrom!” If a video game becomes THE BEST SELLING VIDEO-GAME OF ALL TIME, certainly we should pause and consider that it, perhaps, might have very high quality.
These statements remind me of incorrect definitions of intelligence I hear on the street. “I spent 4 years of my life to go $100,000 in debt to get a degree in Fine Arts, and now I work at Burger King. But I have a ‘degree’. Therefore, I am smart.” You’re in debt, wasted years of your life, and you work at Burger King. You aren’t smart. Yet, that same person will keep telling us that the ‘oil guy’ is ‘stupid’. Yet, that ‘oil guy’ has $200,000 salary with little to no college. What is smart? What is intelligence?
What is video game quality? Ultimately, it has to be about moving hardware as that is the reason why first party software exists. Wii Sports is not just quality, it is quality that rivals the original Super Mario Brothers and Tetris. (Even the music is awesome!)